Xevera homeowners sue Pag-IBIG

By Ashley Manabat, BusinessMirror

Posted at May 01 2014 07:57 AM | Updated as of May 01 2014 03:57 PM

MABALACAT CITY—The Home Development Mutual Fund, or Pag-IBIG Fund, is again the subject of a court case here, but this time, from its own members.

Homeowners of the Xevera housing projects, who are all members of Pag-IBIG, filed several civil cases in court last week against the government-owned and -controlled corporation.

The cases stemmed from Pag-IBIG’s foreclosure of several properties in Xevera and the subsequent extra-judicial sale of the said properties in a public auction on March 18 and on April 8 at the main entrance of the building housing the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in the city of San Fernando.

The Xevera Pampanga Homeowners Association, as well as several individuals filed cases of Annulment of Extra-Judicial Sale, Annulment of Extra-Judicial Foreclosure and Reconveyance of Properties with Damages against Pag-IBIG Fund and the Registry of Deeds of Pampanga under Civil Case 14197 on April 21 at Branch 43 of the RTC in the city of San Fernando.

The complainants alleged that despite the full payment made by Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. (GARHC) through the “automatic offsetting remedy” on their properties as provided for under the memorandum of agreement and the Funding Commitment Agreement (FCA) of the former with Pag-IBIG, the latter went on to foreclose their properties and auctioned them.

The complaining homeowners said they were religiously paying their respective monthly amortizations to GARHC in accordance with its Collection Servicing Agreement (CSA) with Pag-IBIG until the latter filed a case against the former.

Because of the controversy between GARHC and Pag-IBIG, the latter unilaterally canceled the CSA which made the complainants unable to pay their monthly amortizations.

However, the homeowners said the ruling of Judge Eugene Paras of Branch 58 of the RTC in Makati City ordering Pag-IBIG to “comply faithfully and religiously with its obligations under the said contracts,” which was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeals in its decision of October 7, 2013, is a clear indication that all their remaining obligations were already paid by GARHC as seller-developer through the automatic offsetting remedy under the FCA contract.

Federico Tolentino Jr., legal counsel of the Xevera homeowners, explained that his clients are “stipulation pour atrui [stipulation for other persons]” which means that they are the third party beneficiary of the contract.

He said because of the said provisions of the contract, his clients have no outstanding obligations to Pag-IBIG rendering the extra-judicial foreclosure and sale of their properties as “illegal, irregular and void…”

Tolentino explained that the automatic offsetting can be taken by Pag-Ibig from the retention money, funding commitment fees, loan take-out proceeds and other receivables of GARHC which are put on escrow.

He said, pending the reply of Pag-IBIG, all the annotated Transfer Certificates of Titles will be put on lis pendens (pending lawsuit) which means that the subject properties are embroiled in a legal controversy and could not be touched.